Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The O.G. of farmers markets. Part 1.

My visit to L.A.'s Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax was during one of those sweaty, so-hot-my-face-might-melt weekends Southern Californians are all too familiar with in late spring/early summer... even though oddly, we haven't been experiencing any recently. (The lateness of this post is so apparent.)

Anyway, it was midday when my cousins and I arrived at the Farmers Market, when the scorching sun was at its peak scorchability. I walked around in a daze, overwhelmed by the heat and too many delicious food choices.

In order to avoid passing out, I decided first to find something to drink. I found it at The Salad Bar, stall #424.

"Whatever that is, I'll have it."

It was a clear barrel of pale, natural orangey liquid, with ice cubes and pieces of fresh fruit afloat. It looked so yummy. And ice cold. Perfect.

"It's fruit punch, and sure."

Oh my. With fresh strawberries, grapes, chunks of apple, orange, cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew, the juice was fruit salad in drink form -- a flavorful fruit party of all the aforementioned fruits. (YES A FRUIT PARTY.) Nope, this was definitely not the gross, artificial crap that stains your tongue red for days. And special bonus: After I slurped up all the juice, I had an actual fruit salad waiting for me at the bottom! Wonderful.

My cousins, who opted instead for watermelon lemonade and a $4+ smoothie, were envious of my $2.50 fruit punch from heaven.

For food-food, I settled on a heaping plate of Mediterranean cuisine from Moishe's, stall #336.

Here it's been half eaten, but shown are pieces of lamb kebab, tabboule, rice pilaf, and in the back is a couscous salad and hoummus. All were delicious -- especially the lamb, which was tender and packed with flavor, and the couscous, dressed with a spicy-sweet vinaigrette.

I washed it all down with a second fruit punch. Mmm.

Next.. Part 2: My bounty of baked goods.

* * *
Farmers Market
6333 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles 90036

The Salad Bar

Moishe's Restaurant

Friday, May 9, 2008


Two new addictions this month:

Pinkberry green tea swirl and my new BlackBerry Curve!

I know. I'm hopeless.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Adorable obento. Plus: perfect homemade sushi rice.

As a child, if it didn't come from the cafeteria, my school lunches consisted of either leftovers, simple sandwiches or Indo-Mie noodles. Definitely nothing like this:

Obento are elaborate, terribly cute lunch meals made for kids by moms in Japanese culture. See more pictures and read a feature about it here.

Kind of makes me wish I had grown up in Japan. I still love Indo-Mie, however. And my mother.

Also, this may be related or unrelated, but I have to share that I had a go at making my own maki-zushi this weekend (nothing fancy, just some simple rolls), and the recipe I used for the sushi rice was just.. wonderful. I've attempted to make my own California rolls (and the like) before, but I could never get the rice right. In fact, it's my main gripe about homemade sushi. The rice turns out mushy and overcooked, or weird-tasting, or both! Blech.

But Harumi Kurihara, apparently "Japan's Martha Stewart," walks you through the sushi rice-making process very thoughtfully, from the rinsing process to the seasoning and cooling. The rice turned out plump, yet firm and sticky, with a perfect, subtle balance of salty, sweet and slightly sour elements. Needless to say, IT MADE ME SO HAPPY.

I won't even post the recipe -- if you want it, you'll just have to trust me and buy her book. You will not be disappointed.

Thanks to Mau for sharing the link on obento, and to Lisa for telling me about Harumi Kurihara.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Walking off cookies.

Loving food means that dieting always begins tomorrow. Or sometimes it means walking a couple miles for exercise only to find yourself in front of a little Mexican bakery down the corner from your house and regaining the calories you'd just burned by consuming various forms of butter, sugar and dairy product.

I haven't decided yet if my walk was productive (because I made a "discovery") or counter-productive. My everlastingly squishy gut is arguing the latter. But who cares about you, gut?! Let's hear what the tastebuds had to say about La Poblana Bakery/Panaderia in Orange:

Ah. Give me any form of Mexican butter cookie and I'm content. Walnuts, cinnamon-sugar, rainbow sprinkles... Especially rainbow sprinkles. Why do I love the rainbow sprinkles so? BECAUSE THEY'RE RAINBOW. And because I'm five years old.

The "seeds" are chocolate chips.

And I also decided to try this thing:

It's something.. perritos! I asked the name for it and forgot. :( Anyway, it's gelatin made with condensed milk and shaped/decorated to resemble a puppy. Cute, but a little too sweet and milky for me.

I'll try the bread items when I've had a chance to walk off more calories. And I'll try the champurrado when the weather's not so sweltering.

* * *
La Poblana Bakery
604 W. Chapman Ave.
Orange 92868

P.S. Alternate post title: "My gut is telling me no. But my gut is also very hungry." If you know that quote, you are my friend.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tasty trivia.

My awesome cousin got Foodie Fight for me recently. I'd first read about this trivia game in the L.A. Times' Daily Dish blog before Christmas last year, and I was so excited to finally have it. So we played:

See all those pie pieces filling in the plates? That means you win. I'd like to tell you that this was my card. I'd like to report that I kicked mondo ass. But alas, my boyfriend p'wned both me and my cousin on this game. Who knew he was such a foodie? (I KNEW I shouldn't have given him that one freebie!! After that, he was on a roll..)

This, on the other hand, was my card at the end of the game:

... Pathetic! Even my cousin fared better.

Oh well. I've got much to learn. Or perhaps next time I'll, too, get a question like, "Who has a 'hoo hoo' giggle when poked in his doughy middle?"